Skip to main content

I want to try to collect damages for negligence from a home improvement contractor. What kind of lawyer should I contact?

New York, NY |

During the process of replacing my roof, the contractor failed to adequately cover my roof. It rained heavily and my house sustained approximately $30,000. of interior damages. I recently found out the contractor is not insured and his license is expired. He e-mailed me a contract but never signed it. I don't know if the contractor has any assets. Is it worth hiring a lawyer to go after him?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


You should absolutely have your claims reviewed by an experienced attorney. Most attorneys offer a free consultation prior to accepting your case.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. Thank you and good luck.


Call a lawyer who deals with property damage cases.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


It is worth contacting an attorney to review your claims as well as any documentation that you may have. Many attorneys will provide a free consultation. You should seek an attorney with experience in construction defects/property damage claims.

The information provided in this response is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice or establishing an attorney-client relationship. Recipients of this information should not act upon it without consulting legal counsel as individual situations and facts may vary.


Dear New York Home Owner:

So everything went wrong when you hired an uninsured unlicensed home improvement contractor and did not even have a written contract. Hopefully, your Homeowner's Insurance may fill in the gaps for you.

Home Improvement contracts and contractors are tightly regulated in New York State. New York City has additional rules and licensing requirement as do all the nearby surrounding counties.

New York State General Business Law Article 36-A provides the statewide foundation for all Home Improvement Contracts. Read and review the statute to discover the violations committed by your contractor.

New York City also regulates Home Improvement Contractors and requires licensing.

Read more at:

You may face additional issues if the contractor did not obtain the required permits from the New York City Department of Buildings.

The local laws and rules may provide a remedy against an uninsured and unlicensed contractor and there may be a potential for prosecution.

Sure. See your attorney and be prepared for a lecture.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


Consult with an experienced attorney to go over the cost benefit analysis of suing someone who is uninsured, has no license and you do not even have a contract.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or